FORSYTH COUNTY -- With the incoming of its two new elected officials, the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners chose their officers for 2017 and made committee appointments.
At the commission's first regular meeting of the year, District 3 Commissioner Todd Levent was chosen as chairman for 2017, and both new commissioners were chosen for the other officer roles – District 2's Rick Swope as vice chairman and Laura Semanson of District 5 for secretary.
“I'm very humbled and grateful that my fellow commissioners see me in a light to select me as their chairman,” Levent said. “To be quite frank, I probably owe it to all of my supporters over the years who have not only supported me as a commissioner, but they also supported other commissioners that have like minds that we are all going to work toward serving the people in the manner in which they wish us to serve them.”
This will be Levent's first time as chairman. He previously served as secretary in 2012.
Levent, who is in the middle of his second term, said there are several projects he hopes to take on as chairman.
“There have been some big issues that I have been working on,” he said. “I don’t know that I had enough support in the past to get those items done; there's a strong probability we will now. One of those is water independence.
“It's extremely important that we get our own pipe into the lake for withdrawals. In large part in case there's ever an emergency and redundancy of services, we still have access to water for the citizens.”
He said he hopes to work with the state delegation on the matter and feels the recent legislation giving Georgia more access to Lake Lanier may make it a possibility.
Levent said he also wants to focus on “better planning of the future development of the county and the infrastructure being put in place to support it before all of the development is done, or at least alongside of the development.”
Commissioners approved Levent by a 4-1 vote, with District 1 Commissioner Pete Amos opposed. Amos, who was elected to the board at the same time as Levent, had been chairman since 2013.
“I have enjoyed serving you over the last four years,” Amos said.
Levent and District 4 Commissioner Cindy Jones Mills thanked Amos for his time and service as chairman.
Semanson and Swope, who were attending their first meeting as commissioners after being elected in November, were approved unanimously.
During the meeting, Swope appointed Stacey Guy as his District 2 representative on the county’s planning board for a four-year term.
Guy is a software analyst and Clemson University graduate who helped conduct research for the Sharon Springs Alliance, a group in favor of a new municipality in south Forsyth, and is a member of the Shiloh Farms homeowners association.
He will replace Jayne Iglesias, who was appointed to the position 2013 by then-Commissioner Brian Tam and was serving as chairwoman.